Wind-Powered Offshore Drilling Rigs in Canada: Saitec, WESI Get Gov't Funding

May 11, 2021

Credit: Saitec
Credit: Saitec

The Government of Canada has approved funding for Waterford Energy Services Inc. (WESI) and Saitec Offshore's project designed to power offshore drilling rigs using a plug-and-play renewable energy solution.

The funding program aimed to support programs that would help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from offshore oil and gas activities in Newfoundland and Labrador. The funds granted to the Saitec-WESI partnership come from a competitive process in which around under a hundred plans were assessed for a pool of $24.4 million.

"The partnership between WESI and Saitec brings together WESI’s offshore oil and gas engineering and technical know-how with Saitec’s floating wind expertise," the companies said.

Together as part of their project named "Modification of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units for Shared Renewable Power Supply and Storage, WESI and Saitec plan to develop harsh environment solutions and create a project plan for the creation of a “plug-and-play” renewable power option for offshore drilling rigs and other offshore or nearshore installations in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada and abroad.  

A second phase of the project, not covered by the announced gov't funding, aims to develop a full field demonstration in which power will be produced by a floating wind turbine and transmitted to an offshore or near-shore installation.

Blair MacDougall, President, Waterford Energy Services said: "There’s no reason why we can’t be leaders in renewable and non-renewable energy technology, and this aligns perfectly with Waterford’s vision to have our feet firmly planted in both spaces. Saitec is a great partner for us, our skills and capabilities complement each other very well. It’s amazing in a way that our joint-venture came about in the midst of a global pandemic, but that’s a testament to our collective belief that we can make this project a reality in the near future."

David Carrascosa, Chief Technology Officer, Saitec Offshore Technologies said: "We are very thankful to all Canadian Institutions and to our Waterford colleagues to bring this opportunity. Commonly, professionals from the Oil&Gas Industry have joined Offshore Wind Industry bringing valuable know-how and skills. Paradoxically, Saitec is taking the opposite direction coming from the Renewable World to Oil & Gas.  In any case, Saitec is really motivated to tackle the massive challenge of decarbonizing these valuable oil & gas assets.”




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